Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Debate Continues on Parental Spying vs. Rights of Teens

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Debate Continues on Parental Spying vs. Rights of Teens

Article excerpt

Last week, Rap asked readers the following question: Do you think parents should spy on their teens? Here are the responses we received.

"I'm a parent, and no, I don't think parents should spy on teens. I have three daughters, and I have never spied on them. I think when you do that and they find about it, they realize you don't trust them. When kids don't trust their parents, then it's a breakdown of communication. If you treat children with respect, then they treat you that way. And they treat other people that way."

-- Penny Keefe, 47, Jacksonville

"I am the mother of four children, two biological and two step. My two grown children are 21 and 22. My stepchildren are 12. I believe that their room is the only privacy that a teenager has. And yes, you should spy. But, it should be the smelling of the clothes and watching them and supervising them. They do not go into our pocketbooks or our checkbooks, and a teenager needs their space. If you would take the time as a parent to do the adult things like have dinner with your children instead of allowing them to eat in their room, to take them to church. . . . Know your child, and you will not have to spy on your child. If we are the right kind of parents, and we know what is going on with our child there is no reason to have to read their diaries and read their journals and ramble through their things. You should not invade them to the point that the child has no privacy at all. They need to time to think to grow and mature."

-- Denise Strickland, 39, Callahan

"I definitely think parents should snoop through their children's room periodically. Just as parents are responsible for health, dental and vision checkups, they need to check for warning signs of things that could be dangerous for them. . . . Teachers give pop quizzes in school. They are very beneficial in determining how the class is doing and where they need help. If children feel loved by their parents, they will understand snooping is a checkup, a preventive medicine."

-- Pat Fleming, 60, Jacksonville

"I do think parents should check their teenager's room. Let's face it. The parents need to know what's going on with their child. …

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